Things Only Stokies Understand

Having being born and lived in Stoke for nearly 20 years, you learn that your home city is a little bit different from others. We have an abundance of bizarre phrases and words thanks to the Potteries Dialect and there are some things people just don’t get unless they’re a Stokie.

I’m going to start this post with some of my favourite Stokie words, my top 25, taken from Terry Bossons’ book ‘Terry’s Pottersaurus – The Ducktionary of Stoke-on-Trent’:

Asthee – have you e.g. Asthee sayn owt up Anley? (Have you seen anything in Hanley?)

Ow at – how are you?

Birrer – a bit of e.g. Al ‘av a birra tha (I’ll have a bit of that)

Bo – ball e.g. footbo

Brok – broken

Bosted – ugly

Bothdee – Birthday

Canst – can you e.g. canst chuck us telly box? (can you pass me the television remote?)

Chaykee – cheeky

Clemt – hungry e.g. Am clemt deeth (I am starving to death)

Duck – endearment term e.g. Ay up, duck

Eeyar – here you go

Her/his/me/thee sen – her/his/my/yourself e.g. get theesen a cowt on it’s frayzeen (get yourself a coat on it’s freezing)

Hoss – a horse

Lobby – stew, but better than stew anywhere else in the country

Mack – make

Mar lady – my lady/girlfriend/wife

Moanin – morning

Nesh – someone who doesn’t deal well with the cold e.g. Am goin inside am a bit nesh

Ockered – awkward

Orate – alright

Snappin – food e.g. need get some snappin down ya

Thay knowst? – do you know?

Wom – home e.g. goin wom? (going home?)

It’s not only our dialect that confuses outsiders though – there is so much that only Stokie’s understand.

  1. There are two types of people in the world: people who worship oatcakes and people who aren’t real Stokies (oatcake lovers can also be split into two categories: folders and rollers – for the record, I’m a roller)oat
  2. Look, book and cook are spelled with double -ook not a -uck and so we say it how it’s spelled (we say it right the rest of the country is wrong)
  3. Everyone knows, is related to, went to school with or dated Robbie Williams (or his Dad)  rob
  4. The ‘Blo Clock’ (blue clock) is the universal meeting point in Hanley blue
  5. You support Stoke City or Port Vale, regardless of whether or not you follow football. When someone asks you who you support, you answer wisely as you will forever be judged on your choice
  6. No-one knows where Stoke-on-Trent is, so you end up just saying ‘somewhere between Manchester and Birmingham’
  7. There’s Stoke and then there’s actual Stoke, actual Stoke being Stoke town itself, the town of Stoke within the city of Stoke-on-Trent
  8. Stoke-on-Trent is made up of six towns, just to confuse people even more – Hanley, Fenton, Longton, Burslem, Tunstall and Stoke 6
  9. Checking under crockery to see if it was made in Staffordshire and feeling proud when you do find one spode
  10. There is a right and wrong side of an oatcake
  11. There are two types of people: people who go out to The Mill, The Underground and The Exchange… and people who go to Chicagos, Walkabout and Fiction
  12. Always looking forward to the Christmas panto at The Regent with local hero Jonathan Wilkes
  13. Being terrified by the Man of Fire sculpture on the side of The Potteries  spikey
  14. It’s UP ‘Anley and DOWN ‘Castle
  15. Only Stokie’s are allowed to say Stoke’s a shithole, if an outsider says it then a Stokie will defend their home to the hills
  16. When Stoke Dialect is mentioned, the phrase ‘cost kick a bo agen a wo en yed it on yed til it bost’ is never too far behind
  17. Hearing the Wayne Walkers advert on Signal 1 and realising just how thick a Stoke accent can be
  18. Blackpool is Costa del Sol for Stokie’s (unless your house it lit up like it)
  19. Every road leads to Rome, unless you live in Stoke; in which case every road leads you to the other end of the city before you can get where you need to be
  20. No matter where in the world you are, Stoke it home. That will never change

Hope you enjoyed my little lists, comment your favourite Stokie words, idioms and doings!

Beff xx


17 Replies to “Things Only Stokies Understand”

  1. My dad was a real potter and I remember that for ‘ can you’ he would say. ‘Cost’ as in ‘ cost kick’ rather than ‘canst’ .


    1. And the little ditty “Cost kick a bo agen a wo and jed it till it bosts” 🙂


      1. Franked – to be late, what a great word, where did it come from? Some guy named Frank who was always late?


  2. Hi Jude

    What about mithered or buzzed or franked?

    Contact me if they wansdt knew abite it!

    Up the Potters!


  3. Two items you forgot to mention, 1. Captain Edward J Smith the captain of the Titanic came from Stoke-on-Trent. 2. R.J. Mitchell the designer of the Spitfire came also from Stoke-on-Trent.


    1. Dad used to say he was going to Margate for holidays –
      Mar Gate and back. (My gate)


  4. One correction. ‘Stoke Town’ is officially called Stoke upon Trent, not Stoke Town, with wider area known as Stoke on Trent.


  5. There is one golden rule for Stoke speak, There is no letter ‘H’ in our alphabet. We av orses & ouses, go to ospitals with people named arold & enry, and many appy olidays 🙂


  6. When I was little, grown ups would tell me ‘ may caste and stay on bricks” when I was older I realised they were saying ” make haste and keep on the pavement”


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